Canada's Trudeau sets priorities for COVID-19 recovery, climate change action, gender equality in new mandate

Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, released the Minister of International Development’s Mandate Letter, which sets out the priorities for Minister Harjit Sajjan’s work on Canada’s international development portfolio on December 16, 2021. 

As Minister of International Development, Sajjan’s immediate priority under the Mandate Letter is to continue to support partner countries in their fight against COVID-19 and to support the eradication of global poverty, which includes providing humanitarian assistance and ensuring Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy aimed at addressing inequalities and empowering women and girls. The Mandate Letter outlines several commitments:

  • Increase Canada’s international development assistance every year to meet the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Continue to support access to health interventions to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, including by donating at least 200 million vaccine doses to vulnerable populations around the world through COVAX by the end of 2022 and providing additional funding for enhanced testing capacity in low-income countries;
  • Implement Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and maintain an ongoing focus on gender equality through an intersectional and feminist approach to address economic, political and social inequalities;
  • Continue to build on Canada’s support for education with a focus on greater access to inclusive, equitable and quality education for the world’s most marginalized children, including new funding for girls’ education; 
  • Continue to support women leaders and feminist groups leading efforts to promote peace and protect the rights of women and vulnerable groups, and increase funding to grassroots women’s rights organizations; 
  • Expand Canada’s efforts to advance gender equality and LGBTQ2 rights abroad; and 
  • Work with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to mobilize and provide climate finance to support low-income country adaptation and mitigation efforts.

Press release - Prime Minister of Canada